No Mariota? No Hope.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Oregon vs Kansas State

For Philadelphia fans, the most nerve-racking 10-minute waiting period of any professional sports draft ended with a figurative hot knife to the belly.

After months of anticipation coupled with downright obsession that the Eagles would land Marcus Mariota and everything would be right for the world, the Tennessee Titans took Mariota with the No. 2 pick in the draft. And if that weren’t enough, minutes later, the Titans general manager popped out of his war room to say that they were not trading him ANYWHERE. Ouch.

Does it really matter that the Eagles tried hard to get Mariota? Perhaps reports are true that the Birds offered two starting defensive players and three draft picks in an attempt to move into the No. 2 drafting spot. Chip Kelly can never admit that because if he does, he tells the quarterback who now must start for him this year, Sam Bradford, that he wasn’t adequate enough. Bradford’s a big enough boy to understand what was going on this whole time, but still.

I’ve said that if the Eagles didn’t acquire Marcus Mariota, it would haunt this city’s fan base forever. So let the haunting begin. Read more »

St. Joe’s Prep Holds Prayer Service for Student Who Died at Football Practice

Today, Prep students, faculty and staff gathered for a prayer service in memory of our brother, Ryan Gillyard ’18.

Posted by St. Joseph’s Prep on Monday, April 20, 2015

St. Joe’s Prep this morning held a prayer service for Ryan Gillyard, a 15-year-old student who collapsed Saturday morning during a football team practice; he was declared dead at Temple University Hospital soon after.

6ABC reports: “Grief counselors were on hand at St. Joseph’s Prep Monday after a freshman football player collapsed and died during practice.” Read more »

Ed Sabol, Founder of NFL Films, Has Died

Ed Sabol touches his bust after  it was unveiled during the induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Ed Sabol touches his bust after it was unveiled during the induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Ed Sabol, who founded NFL Films, has died at age 98. The company is headquartered in Mount Laurel, N.J.

NFL.com reports:

A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011, Sabol was the visionary force who revolutionized sports on camera and mythologized football at its highest level of competition.

“Through his determination and innovative spirit, Ed Sabol transformed how America watched football and all sports,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday. “Ed ignited the fire at NFL Films and was the Keeper of the Flame with a remarkable vision and dedication to telling the stories of the people who played, coached and loved the game.

“He earned the ultimate recognition by being selected in 2011 to the Pro Football Hall of Fame where he will forever be remembered alongside the men he so greatly cared about. Ed’s memory will live forever in the hearts and minds of fans around the world whenever they see the work of NFL Films and of the many people he inspired.”

Here’s the film his now-deceased son, Steve, used to introduce him at the Hall of Fame.
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Marshawn Lynch’s Upside-Down Example

NFL: NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

As Marshawn Lynch made a mockery of his Super Bowl interviews last week, he also became the symbol of the persecuted black man.

In a day and age where all of us have the responsibility of thought to real racial issues, I found the Lynch caper to be a waste of some really good energy.

With Marshawn Lynch, where was the cause? He didn’t want to talk to the media. Apparently his attitude for not talking goes back to his days as a running back with the Buffalo Bills, where the press excoriated him for some off-the-field transgressions. OK, I got that. Lynch wanted to get back at the press. But where else was there a racial cause?
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Cheaters Sometimes Win

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Deflate-Gate has turned out to be a brilliant tactical development for the New England Patriots, who I predict will win this year’s Super Bowl.

The Pats have evolved this week from a pack of blatant cheating weasels to the unfairly persecuted, a dramatic transition last seen in Godfather II. In front of a special Senate Committee, Michael Corleone denied he was remotely involved in organized crime, and urged the committee to absolve him of guilt with the same enthusiasm with which they accused him. Meanwhile, Tom Hagen was screaming, “This committee owes an apology Senator!”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft pulled a similar trick out of his hat a few days ago when he lectured the press and the public about accusing his organization of cheating. Kraft was crafty in his wording, but only an idiot couldn’t see through it. He said “if” the NFL’s investigation turned up no evidence of wrongdoing, he hoped that everybody was prepared to beg the Patriots for forgiveness. Or something like that. He didn’t say “when” the NFL finds no evidence of wrongdoing. He was spitting into the wind. Just like Michael Corleone.

But here’s the thing. Corleone was a gangster. And the Patriots did cheat. And no smoke-and-mirrors, fancypants dialogue can wriggle human beings from hard, cold reality.

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Chris Christie’s Magical Ride With the Cowboys Is Over

It wasn’t a good weekend for noted Dallas Cowboys fan Chris Christie. His team lost, on a controversial call, and well, you can see his reaction in the photo above.

Christie’s fellow Republican, former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, was … not sympathetic.

Well. Now that’s over, Christie can finally decide if he wants to run for president. And excellent timing. We think the best way to run for president is to pick a swing state and then alienate all the voters in that state who love the team you’ve been dissing lately. Electoral gold.

Jerry Jones Paid for Chris Christie’s Cowboys Trips

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones paid the cost of Chris Christie’s travel — including a private jet — to Sunday’s NFL playoff game featuring the Cowboys versus the Lions. (You know: The one featuring “The Hug.”)

NJ.com reports:

Christie has now attended three games at the invitation of Jones, who invited the governor and picked up the tab, said Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts.

“Governor Christie attended the game last night as a guest of Jerry Jones, who provided both the ticket and transportation at no expense to New Jersey taxpayers,” Roberts said.

The governor’s office cited The Code of Conduct for the Governor, adopted under former Gov. Jim McGreevey, in Executive Order 77, which says the governor “may accept gifts, favors, services, gratuities, meals, lodging or travel expenses from relatives or personal friends that are paid for with personal funds.”

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This Thanksgiving, Ferguson Makes Football Seem Small

National Guard stand in front of the Ferguson Police Department Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Missouri's governor ordered hundreds more state militia into Ferguson on Tuesday, after a night of protests and rioting over a grand jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a case that has inflamed racial tensions in the U.S.

National Guard stand in front of the Ferguson Police Department Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Missouri’s governor ordered hundreds more state militia into Ferguson on Tuesday, after a night of protests and rioting over a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a case that has inflamed racial tensions in the U.S.

On Monday night, three days before a colossal NFL game between the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, a major news story began playing out making the game seem pretty small.

The situation in Ferguson involves all of us. We can’t hide from it and it can’t be swept behind a wall of conversation about a football game.

What I do on 97.5 FM The Fanatic is sports talk, but it’s really life talk — conversation among people of different races, creed and colors. And when an issue like this explodes in front of us, it is our duty to talk on it. Conversation fosters understanding; it’s the only thing that can foster understanding because it’s the only way we can hear and attempt to understand another’s viewpoint. So to the people who tweet me with nonsense like “I thought this was a sports station; let’s talk sports,” I have the following message: Open your mind, grow and progress, if just for the sake of your children and future generations who should live in a society that’s not always at odds.

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